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2022 World Cup should remain in Qatar, says bid chief

Qatar 2022 World Cup committee secretary general Hassan al-Thawadi has rejected suggestions that the tournament should be moved elsewhere.

The Middle East country won the right to host the event in December 2010, beating off competition from the likes of the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

But since then, doubts have been raised over the viability of staging the tournament in the traditional months of June and July, due to the oppressive weather in the region at that time of year – with average temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius.

FIFA have hinted that they may now consider moving the timing of the tournament – something that Al-Thawadi has previously said he would be open to – but the head of the 2022 World Cup also says there is “no reason” why Qatar should not host the showpiece.

“We’ve worked very, very hard to ensure we’re within the rules of the bidding, within the rules of the hosting agreement,” Al-Thawadi told BBC Sport.

“At the same time we’re delivering on all the promises that we’ve made.

“We’re working very hard to deliver it. The commitment is there.

“(Qatar) is the right place, the Middle East is the right place. We are representing the Middle East, it is a Middle Eastern World Cup, so it is the right place.

“The Middle East deserves to host a major tournament.”

Debate over when to stage the tournament has been re-ignited in recent days after FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted that football’s governing body may have made a “mistake” in handing the tournament to Qatar to host in their summer.

Europe’s top clubs – who come under the banner of the European Club Association (ECA) – are also in favour of a switch to a different time of year.

Fri 13 Sep, 2013
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